Disabled Arsenal fan travels 200 miles from Dorset to the Emirates by wheelchair
PUBLISHED: 18:58 30 April 2012
A wheelchair-bound Arsenal fan has completed a gruelling 200-mile sponsored spin from Dorset to the Emirates Stadium.
Disabled Gooner Paul Smith managed the remarkable feat in five days to raise cash for Arsenal’s chosen charity of the season, Save the Children, which has its HQ in St John’s Lane, Finsbury.
The 53-year-old, who cannot walk following a car accident in 1991 that left him with brain injuries and damage to his hips, chest, neck and shoulders, reached the ground on Friday, April 20, after wheeling all the way from his home on the Isle of Portland, Dorset.
He said: “I wanted to do this because they are too many children suffering in the world who are less fortunate than me. Children deserve every chance in life.
“I am an Arsenal fan and will continue to raise money for charities my club supports.”
Mr Smith, who was joined by his wife and a team of six, had been in training for months for what is his fourth and most ambitious charity challenge to date.
He covered an average of 40 miles per day, facing some dire weather conditions along the way. He has raised over £13,000 so far, which will go towards educational projects in the UK and abroad, and says a mystery donor has pledged to double the funds if he reaches his £20,000 target.
He added: “I could not have done it without my support crew. They kept the morale high even when the weather was not. When we reached the stadium I felt we had earned every penny.”
Mr Smith’s earlier efforts have included raising £25,000 by wheeling from Portsmouth’s Fratton Park stadium to the Emirates. Visit www.justgiving.com/challenge200 to support his latest project.
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